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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-11-12

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

Saturday, 12 November 2011 Issue No: 3931

CONTENTS

  • [01] New 'unity' government under PM Papademos sworn in
  • [02] PM Papademos chairs first cabinet meeting
  • [03] FinMin outlines priorities of new government's economic staff
  • [04] FM Dimas says restoration of Greece's reliability and reputation a basic priority
  • [05] New DM Avramopoulos refers to restriction of expenditures and maximisation of Armed Forces' effectiveness
  • [06] Papandreou hands over to successor Papademos
  • [07] ND leader: 'We shall support transitional Papademos government'
  • [08] ND members in new government
  • [09] Opposition to new government from parties of the Left
  • [10] KKE calls for 'popular front' against new gov't
  • [11] Democratic Alliance party to give vote of confidence to new government
  • [12] US welcomes appointment of Papademos to head new Greek cooperation government
  • [13] Eurozone awaiting clarifications from Greece for 6th tranche of bailout loans, Commission says
  • [14] Socialist International sg hails courageous initiative of George Papandreou for national unity government
  • [15] Greece to auction 3-month T-bills next Tuesday
  • [16] Logistics turnover to fall 4.0 pct this year
  • [17] Democratic Alliance on high unemployment rate
  • [18] GSEE calls for change of policy to boost employment
  • [19] Business Briefs
  • [20] Stocks end moderately lower
  • [21] Greek bond market closing report
  • [22] ADEX closing report
  • [23] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday
  • [24] Korean ships in Piraeus to mark 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Greece
  • [25] Goldsmith arrested for making and selling counterfeit British gold sovereign coins
  • [26] Lesvos island sends humanitarian aid to quake-stricken Van
  • [27] Avlona Prison director's car torched
  • [28] Drug dealing family business dismantled on Rhodes
  • [29] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] New 'unity' government under PM Papademos sworn in

    The new transitional 'unity' government that will serve under Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was sworn in during a ceremony at the presidential mansion in central Athens on Friday afternoon. Broadly the same as the previous government of George Papandreou, the new coalition government also includes six members supplied by the main opposition New Democracy party and four from the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party.

    In total, 48 people including the prime minister make up the new government, seven more than its immediate predecessor. There are 12 new ministers in its ranks, of which nine have been sworn into government office for the first time, including the new premier.

    Ministries that changed hands include that of the interior, which has gone to Tassos Yiannitsis of PASOK, the foreign ministry that has gone to ND's Stavros Dimas, and national defence where ND's Dimitris Avramopoulos is now minister, with PASOK's Yiannis Ragoussis and LAOS' George Georgiou as alternate ministers. In place of Ragoussis at the infrastructure ministry is LAOS's Maroudis (Makis) Voridis, and Minister of State Elias Mossialos has been replaced by George Stavropoulos with a second person due to be announced for the post of government spokesman in the next few days.

    Other changes include the removal of Fofi Gennimata from the education ministry to the post of Alternate Interior Minister, with ND's Constantine Arvanitopoulos taking her place as alternate education minister. ND's Yiannis Mourmouras, until now economic advisor to ND leader Antonis Samaras, has been added as deputy minister to the finance ministry team, which remains in the hands of Evangelos Venizelos as minister.

    LAOS' Adonis Georgiadis has been made deputy minister at the development ministry, while ND's Dimitris Vartzopoulos has been appointed deputy minister at the health ministry, ND's Petros Alevizatos is now deputy minister at the culture ministry and LAOS' Asterios Rodoulis is deputy agriculture minister.

    Six members of the previous government have not been included in the new cabinet, including Haris Kastanidis (former interior minister), Stavros Lambrinidis (foreign ministry), Panos Beglitis (defence), Ilias Mossialos (minister of state), and the former deputy minister Christos Aidonis and Angelos Tolkas.

    The composition of the new government as follows:

    Prime Minister: Lucas Papademos

    First Government Vice President:

    Theodoros Pangalos

    Government Vice President and Finance Minister: Evangelos Venizelos

    Administrative Reform and Electronic Governance Minister: Dimitris Reppas

    Deputy Ministers: Dinos Rovlias, Pantelis Tzortzakis

    Interior Minister: Anastasios Yiannitsis

    Alternate Minister: Fofi Gennimata

    Deputy Minister: Paris Koukoulopoulos

    Finance Minister: Evangelos Venizelos

    Alternate minister: Filippos Sahinidis

    Alternate minister: Pantelis Economou

    Deputy Minister: Yiannis Mourmouras

    Foreign Minister: Stavros Dimas

    Alternate Minister: Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou

    Deputy Minister: Dimitris Dollis

    National Defence Minister: Dimitris Avramopoulos

    Alternate Minister: Yiannis Ragoussis

    Alternate Minister: George Georgiou

    Deputy Minister: Costas Spiliopoulos

    Development Minister: Michalis Chrysohoidis

    Alternate Minister: Socrates Xynidis

    Deputy Minister: Thanos Moraitis

    Deputy Minister: Adonis Georgiadis

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister: George Papaconstantinou

    Alternate Minister: Nikos Sifounakis

    Deputy Minister: Yiannis Maniatis

    Education, Life-long Learning and Religions Minister: Anna Diamantopoulou

    Alternate Minister: Constantine Arvanitopoulos

    Deputy Minister: Evi Christofilopoulou

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister: Maroudis Voridis

    Deputy Minister: Yiannis Magriotis

    Labor and Social Security Minister: George Koutroumanis

    Deputy Minister: Yiannis Koutsoukos

    Health and Social Solidarity Minister: Andreas Loverdos

    Deputy Ministers: Dimitris Vartzopoulos, Markos Bolaris, Mihalis Timosidis

    Agricultural Development and Food Minister: Costas Skandalidis

    Deputy Ministers: Yiannis Drivelegas

    Deputy Minister: Asterios Rodoulis

    Justice Minister: Miltiadis Papaioannou

    Deputy Minister: George Petalotis

    Citizen Protection Minister: Christos Papoutsis

    Deputy Minister: Emmanuel Othonas

    Culture Minister: Pavlos Geroulanos

    Deputy Minister: George Nikitiadis (for Tourism)

    Deputy Minister: Petros Alevizatos

    State Minister: George Stavropoulos

    [02] PM Papademos chairs first cabinet meeting

    The new cabinet convened on late Friday afternoon under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos for its first meeting and was concluded later in the evening.

    Papademos called for cooperation and solidarity from the members of the government, for the ratification of the loan contract to go ahead and the decisions taken at the October 27 summit to be implemented.

    "We have a difficult period ahead of us to carry out a difficult task and the contribution of all is necessary," the prime minister said and stressed that "over the past two years a great effort was made with a good result for the decrease of the deficits but today a credit problem has appeared with the payment of the 6th tranche and the regaining of the country's credibility."

    The prime minister informed the ministers and the members of the government that he plans to create a Government Committee in the coming days with which he will be cooperating on a daily basis, while asking for notes from the ministers in light of the government's policy statements that they might read in Parliament on Monday afternoon, with the aim of the debate on them to be concluded by Wednesday since, as Citizen's Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis stressed during the cabinet meeting, events for the Polytechnic will be heightening.

    Shortly before the meeting, Papademos had half-hour talks with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the economic staff.

    [03] FinMin outlines priorities of new government's economic staff

    Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking after Friday's cabinet meeting, spoke of efforts in the direction of the fair distribution of burdens and the remedying of injustices that have occurred.

    Venizelos also said that new measures, new cutbacks and new sacrifices are not necessary and added that the new government is expecting the disbursement of 88 billion euros by early March from the first and second aid package from the European Union and the IMF.

    The Finance Minister then outlined the four basic priorities of the new government's economic staff, which are: the timely disbursement of the 6th tranche of an EC/ECB/IMF troika loan, amounting to 8 billion euros, before December 15, the starting of negotiations with the troika on the new programme and the new loan contract, the tabling in Parliament of the 2012 budget by November 21 and the completion by early 2012 of the shaping of the legal framework for the 50 percent "haircut" for the Greek debt which is in the hands of the private individuals.

    [04] FM Dimas says restoration of Greece's reliability and reputation a basic priority

    Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas, speaking during the assumption of his duties on Friday, set the restoration of Greece's international credibility and reputation as a basic priority.

    "It is not possible for our country to become the object of easy rhetoric from various people, who are irresponsible or who have specific aims," he said and, referring to foreign policy issues, stressed that "we shall handle them with determination, prudence, boldness and cleverness" to achieve the best results.

    [05] New DM Avramopoulos refers to restriction of expenditures and maximisation of Armed Forces' effectiveness

    Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, speaking on the assumption of his duties at the Defence ministry on Friday, stressed that the priorities of the ministry's new political leadership are the restriction of expenditures and the maximisation of the Armed Forces' effectiveness.

    Avramopoulos added that the big crisis that the country is experiencing in no way leads to a discount of the Armed Forces' needs and the fulfillment of their mission. The exercising of foreign policy is not a topic for negotiating, it cannot be restricted, it cannot be compressed, despite the necessary restriction of fiscal freedom.

    [06] Papandreou hands over to successor Papademos

    Former premier George Papandreou on Friday formally handed over the reins of government to his successor, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

    Receiving Papademos at the prime minister's office at the Maximos Mansion, Papandreou expressed his conviction that the new government will succeed in its difficult task and promised to provide every support in this effort.

    "You take over at critical and difficult times and we will be united in the effort for the success of the government and to lighten the load on the Greek people, to make the great changes the country needs with the utmost cooperation," he said.

    Papademos referred to the "enormous effort" made by his predecessor to stabilise the economy and bring about fiscal reform in very difficult conditions, thanking him for his work and for entrusting him with the country's governance.

    Concerning the task ahead for the new coalition government, Papademos promised to do his best to solve the country's problems and expressed conviction that it would succeed with the assistance and unity of all sides.

    After the meeting, Papandreou left for PASOK's party headquarters on Ippokratous Street.

    [07] ND leader: 'We shall support transitional Papademos government'

    New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking after the swearing in of the new government on Friday, stressed that "all of us together will support the new transitional (Lucas) Papademos government in its task and we wish it will succeed in its mission" adding "our views on the policy being implemented remain. Views are not shirts for one to change them."

    Samaras said that for 10 days the country remained without a government, without a prime minister, with the people deeply concerned, while the crisis in Europe was taking unprecedented dimensions.

    The ND leader further said that his party took an initiative with four targets: for a referendum not to take place, the prime minister to change, a transitional government to be formed that will unblock the 6th tranche and will advance the new loan contract and lead the country to elections as soon as possible, stressing that "in a few days we achieved all four targets."

    Samaras also noted that the "path for new elections imme-diately finally opened and this is now an agreement of the two big parties, with the specific date of February 19."

    He went on to say that the elections are not "our demand alone, they are a security valve for society to express itself, because when society does not express itself, then social explosion comes closer."

    Samaras stressed that ND achieved what a main opposition party has never done, to change government and prime minister in the middle of the four-year tenure, adding that instead of having a George Papandreou government "for another two years we shall have elections in three months."

    "We have arrived here where we are, because the policy that had been followed did not succeed. You can see it in the economy which is sinking, in the middle class that is falling apart, in the enterprises that are closing, in the unemployed who are multiplying, in the young people who are leaving, in the targets that are not being achieved," he said.

    Samaras also noted that ND took two crucial ministries with a substantive role and heavy national symbolisms. Those of defence and foreign affairs. And it is sending the messages that it must send and where it must send them.

    "I did not want further participation, I did not want joint governance and everyone understands why," Samaras added.

    [08] ND members in new government

    Six members of the main opposition New Democracy party participate in the new coalition government.

    The six individuals named were the following:

    ND vice-president Dimitris Avramopoulos, who earlier on Friday resigned from his seat in Parliament in order to join the new government and will take over as national defence minister; former European Commissioner and current ND vice-president Stavros Dimas as foreign minister; Yiannis Mourmouras, currently economics advisor for ND leader Antonis Samaras, as deputy finance minister; Petros Alevizatos as deputy culture minister for tourism, the director of Samara's political office Constantine Arvanitopoulos as alternate education minister and Dimitris Vartzopoulos as deputy health minister.

    ND's first runner up in the Athens electoral district Elena Kountoura will take up the parliamentary seat vacated by Avramopoulos, who announced his resignation in a letter to parliament president Philippos Petsalnikos.

    [09] Opposition to new government from parties of the Left

    All three of the left-wing parties in Parliament on Friday joined in expressing their opposition to the newly formed coalition government created by PASOK, main opposition New Democracy and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party under Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) described the new government as a "black front" demanded for some time by the European Union, bankers, industry and other monopolies, stressing the need for popular resistance front to stand up against it.

    "The participation in the black front of the ideological descendants of the dictator Metaxas and the torturers of Makronissos, the provocateurs of LAOS, once again confirms that the social-democratic and the liberal bourgeois version are allies with the far-right section, because this is also a component of the bourgeois political system," a KKE announcement said.

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) said the three-party coalition "contravened all sense of the popular mandate in the most provocative way" and that the new government will be called on to complete all "the PASOK government's destructive actions for workers, young people and pensioners".

    "The Memorandum bloc of the trilateral co-government, headed by bankers and with the blessings of the neoliberal forces of Europe and domestic capitalims, will continue a policy that impoverishes workers and pensioners and pushing ever more people to unemployment," a SYRIZA announcement said. The party predicted that the upcoming anniversary of the November 17 Polytechnic uprising will bring people out onto the streets for mass protests, urging them to continue their struggle to overturn policies that they had no reason to support.

    Similarly, the Central Committee of the Democratic Left party led by Fotis Kouvelis also decided on Friday that it would not support the new government with its vote.

    According to the party, the procedures followed during the formation of this government proved that it was not a national salvation government but had other political aims.

    [10] KKE calls for 'popular front' against new gov't

    The Communist Party (KKE), in an announcement on Friday, charged that the "black front" government, as it called the new Papademos government, underlines the need for the creation of a "popular front" of resistance.

    KKE opined that the new government was a long-standing demand by the "EU, bankers, industrialists and other ... monopolies." The communist party also called for immediate snap elections.

    [11] Democratic Alliance party to give vote of confidence to new government

    The Democratic Alliance will give a vote of confidence to the new government and will watch and intervene wherever and when necessary, a party announcement issued on Friday said.

    The party of former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis stresses that the new prime minister "is beginning a nightmarishly difficult job and we wish his government will succeed for the good of the country."

    The announcement added that it is "a national necessity that the Papademos government will perform and function as a national salvation government, speak the language of truth and promote effectively the changes that the country needs."

    [12] US welcomes appointment of Papademos to head new Greek cooperation government

    NEW YORK (AMNA/P. Panagiotou)

    The US government welcomed the new political developments in Greece with the imminent formation of a cooperation government that will be headed by former European Central Bank (ECB) vice-president and former Bank of Greece (BoG) governor Lucas Papademos, and reiterated that Greece is an important partner and long-standing friend of the US.

    Replying to questions during a regular press briefing in Washington on Thursday, US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said that "we welcome his (Papademos') appointment", adding that "we look forward to working with the new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos".

    "Greece is an important partner and long-standing friend of the United States and we enjoy a very close bilateral relationship, as well as in various multilateral organizations," Toner reaffirmed.

    "We also welcome the consensus that's been reached in Greece over the need to implement the country's reform commitments to the IMF as well as the European Union," he added.

    [13] Eurozone awaiting clarifications from Greece for 6th tranche of bailout loans, Commission says

    BRUSSELS (AMNA- M. Aroni)

    The release of the 6th tranche of bailout loans to Greece will be put on hold until Greek authorities provide clarifications and the issue is discussed at the Eurogroup, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said on Friday.

    "The decision for the 6th tranche is linked with the political situation in Greece and the ability of the new government to agree to the fundamental elements of the programme," Bailly said during the regular press briefing.

    Asked whether Brussels is still demanding that the main political forces in Greece provide a written pledge committing to the decisions of October 27 and the implementation of the new programme, Bailly said that the Eurogroup's demand continues to apply and that the two main parties in the coalition government by commit in writing to implementing the decisions of the October 26-27 Eurozone leaders' summit.

    [14] Socialist International sg hails courageous initiative of George Papandreou for national unity government

    Socialist International (SI) Secretary General Luis Ayala, leaving the PASOK party's head offices where he held a meeting with PASOK party leader and SI president George Papandreou on Friday everning, said "I came to Greece to congratulate George Papandreou for his leadership and his courageous initiative that led to the creation of a national unity government."

    Ayala added that "today as a political family we stand by George Papandreou, expressing at the same time our solidarity for our comrades and friends of PASOK."

    He further said that "George attempted to reconcile democracy with the markets and this is the struggle we socialists are waging all over the world, at this difficult conjuncture that we are experiencing the repercussions of the global economic crisis."

    "George Papandreou as leader of PASOK and as president of the Socialist International constitutes clearly a sample of the will and the commitments of socialdemocracy to prevail and not resign and to guarantee that our ideals, our values and our commitments will be realised at this difficult moment, as well as in the times that our ahead of us," Ayala concluded.

    Financial News

    [15] Greece to auction 3-month T-bills next Tuesday

    Greece will auction a three-month Treasury bills issue on Tuesday, Nov. 15, seeking to raise 1.0 billion euros from the market, the Public Debt Management Organization announced on Friday.

    The organisation will hold the auction with the market's primary dealers, with settlement date set for November 18. The organisation holds the right to accept non-competitive bids as well up to 30 pct of the asked sum.

    [16] Logistics turnover to fall 4.0 pct this year

    A deep economic recession and a shrinking demand in Greece has led the domestic logistics sector to a sharp decline in turnover and to reduced traffic - or even inertia- of lorries, while turnover was projected to fall by 4.0 pct this year, a report by Icap showed on Friday. The report was presented during a press conference held in Thessaloniki ahead of the 15th Panhellenic Logistics Congress.

    Presenting the report, Ioannis Siamas, president of the Panhellenic Association of Logistics Enterprises, stressed that the opening up of the transport market had no effect at all in the sector's growth, with less than 50 companies set up throughout the country. Siamas said the new regime resulted only in reducing the value of the non-material value of transportation vehicles, adding that a decision to open up the market was not to the benefit of the state as well, as it was losing tax and customs revenues.

    Dr. Seraphim Kapros, a deputy professor at the University of Aegean and member of the permanent logistics commission in the Transport ministry, speaking to reporters, said the country needed around six large logistics centers and several smaller distribution centers in small- and medium-sized urban centers, while he stressed that combined transport would be meaningful only in the road network Athens-Thessaloniki and abroad.

    Eleftherios Iakovou, president of the Northern Greece Logistics Company, said sea cargo traffic in eastern Mediterranean would total 19 million TEUs and stressed that Thessaloniki should seek a share of this market, adding that custom and off-loading times were 50 pct lower in other ports in the region compared with Greek ports.

    [17] Democratic Alliance on high unemployment rate

    "The major challenge for the new government is to reduce unemployment" the Democratic Alliance party said in an announcement on Friday, noting that"990,000 people are unemployed and 364,000 lost their jobs within one year.

    These figures indicate that the new government's and the political powers' biggest task in the next years is the immediate attraction of new investments in order to create new jobs, a Democratic Alliance announcement said.

    Moreover the party called for the elimination of the existing counter-incentives and restrictions on competitiveness and the immediate acceleration of the necessary structural changes in parallel with the restriction of the state's intervention in the economy.

    [18] GSEE calls for change of policy to boost employment

    The General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), Greece's largest umbrella trade union organisation, on Friday warned that an immediate change in policy was imperative in order to turn around trends that had raised unemployment to unprecedented high levels.

    According to the union group, the figures released by Greece's National Statistical Authority recording unemployment levels of 18.4 percent in August 2011, an increase of 295,000 people in absolute numbers relative to the same month in 2010, were "anything but a surprise".

    "The only solution in order to boost employment and the real economy is development and a rise in incomes," GSEE stressed.

    [19] Business Briefs

    -- Greece's import price composite index in the industrial sector rose 8.3 pct in September compared with the same month last year, after an increase of 4.9 pct recorded in September 2010, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Friday.

    [20] Stocks end moderately lower

    Stocks ended moderately lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, ignoring a positive climate in other European markets as investors remained on the sidelines awaiting the policy statement by the new Papademos government.

    The composite index of the market fell 0.86 pct to end at 755.65 points, for a net gain of 0.67 pct in the week. Turnover shrank to 35.884 million euros.

    The Big Cap index fell 0.31 pct, the Mid Cap index eased 0.17 pct and the Small Cap index ended 0.04 pct lower. Hellenic Postbank (14.07 pct), MIG (13.07 pct), Alpha Bank (2.86 pct) and National Bank (2.45 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Eurobank (4.58 pct), Titan (3.67 pct) and Coca Cola 3E (3.53 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The Food (3.42 pct), Constructions (3.05 pct) and Insurance (2.39 pct) sectors were top losers, while Financial Services (8.42 pct), Chemicals (2.57 pct), Commerce (2.29 pct) and Banks (1.69 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 76 to 70 with another 25 issues unchanged. Hatzioannou (28.21 pct), Q&R (24.62 pct), Hellenic Fish Farms (20 pct) were top gainers, while Sprider (21.4 pct), Nexans (20 pct) and Tegopoulos (20 pct) were top losers.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -2.39%

    Industrials: -0.91%

    Commercial: +2.29%

    Construction: -3.05%

    Oil & Gas: -0.81%

    Personal & Household: +0.27%

    Raw Materials: +0.73%

    Travel & Leisure: -1.95%

    Technology: -1.35%

    Telecoms: -0.29%

    Banks: +1.69%

    Food & Beverages: -3.42%

    Health: -1.07%

    Utilities: -0.73%

    Chemicals: +2.57%

    Financial Services: +8.42%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Alpha Bank and HBC Coca Cola.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 1.08

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 5.65

    HBC Coca Cola: 12.83

    Hellenic Petroleum: 6.47

    National Bank of Greece: 2.09

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.75

    OPAP: 6.76

    OTE: 3.40

    Bank of Piraeus: 0.25

    Titan: 13.39

    [21] Greek bond market closing report

    The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased slightly to 16 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday, from 16.12 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 17.85 pct and the German Bund 1.85 pct. There was no turnover in the market.

    In interbank markets, interest rates continued moving lower. The 12-month rate was 2.03 pct, the six-month rate eased to 1.68 pct, the three-month rate was 1.46 pct and the one-month rate 1.20 pct.

    [22] ADEX closing report

    The December contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.57 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday, with turnover shrinking to a low 9.332 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,423 contracts worth 5.108 million euros, with 20,138 short positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 21,372 contracts worth 4.224 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (10,537), followed by Eurobank (1,256), MIG (1,023), OPAP (743), Piraeus Bank (724), Alpha Bank (3,544), Mytilineos (457), Cyprus Bank (818), Hellenic Postbank (865), GEK (219), OTE (182) and Titan (277).

    [23] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.385

    Pound sterling 0.869

    Danish kroner 7.553

    Swedish kroner 9.229

    Japanese yen 107.17

    Swiss franc 1.254

    Norwegian kroner 7.868

    Canadian dollar 1.411

    Australian dollar 1.362

    General News

    [24] Korean ships in Piraeus to mark 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Greece

    A special event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between Greece and Korea took place on Friday morning on two Korean support battleships at Xaveriou coast in the port of Piraeus, which are in Greece for three days.

    The Korean ships will be open to visits by the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. o all three days.

    The ships are carrying 130 officers and 610 crewmembers.

    Attending the event were Korean Ambassador to Greece Tae-shin Jane, the president of the Korean community in Greece and the Hellenic Navy Commander for the Southern Aegean.

    The visiting officers were greeted onboard by Captain Junk-soo-kim, who in his address thanked Greece for the warm welcome for the Korean visitors, noting that the two ships were in Greece in the context of the Korean Navy's 58th annual periodic manoeuver throughout the world.

    The purpose of the manoeuver is to develop the officers' and sailors' ability in real dimensions, but more importantly for "Korea to further develop, in this way, its diplomatic relations with the countries that the two ships are visiting".

    He explained that the manoeuver lasts 95 days, during which the two ships dock in 10 ports in an equal number of countries.

    This year, however, is a special year, he said, given that it marks the 50th anniversary of Greece-Korea diplomatic relations and his country wishes to pay tribute to the Greeks who lost their lives in the Korean War at the Heroes Monument in the Athens suburb of Papagou. He noted that more than 10,000 Greek soldiers fought in that war, of which 192 were killed and another 1,000 were injured.

    A special ceremony for Greek veterans who fought in South Korea will be held Friday night on one of the two ships.

    [25] Goldsmith arrested for making and selling counterfeit British gold sovereign coins

    A 46-year-old goldsmith was arrested Friday in the 40 Ekklisies region of Thessaloniki for making and selling counterfeit British gold sovereign coins.

    According to police, a search of the man's house turned up equipment for making the counterfeit gold coins, including several molds, 20 wax and copper copies of British pounds, a rod of gold weighing 320 grams, three rods of copper and an electronic precision scale, as well as 4,000 euros in cash.

    They said the detainee had defrauded last spring a Greek man and sold him 1,630 counterfeit gold pounds for 280,000 euros.

    The police investigation is continuing, and authorities are seeking an unidentified accomplice who on several occasions placed orders with the detainee for counterfeit gold pounds, which he subsequently sold as genuine coins.

    The detainee will appear before a Thessaloniki prosecutor.

    [26] Lesvos island sends humanitarian aid to quake-stricken Van

    Lesvos island citizens have sent a third shipment of humanitarian aid to the earthquake stricken citizens of Van in eastern Turkey. A delegation composed of Lesvos citizens and the Hellenic Rescue Team accompanied the third and last dispatch of humanitarian aid (torchlights, baby diapers, sheets, blankets) to Van. All the aid items were collected by the northeastern Greek island's citizens and entities.

    [27] Avlona Prison director's car torched

    Two bomb attacks took place on cars in Halkida and the Athens suburb of Halandri during the night, police said.

    A home-made explosive device exploded in the first hours of Friday beneath a car belonging to the director of the Avlona Prison, Pavlos Douvalis, as it was parked in his apartment building's semi-open parking area in Halkida.

    The explosion destroyed the front part of the car, beneath which the explosive device had been planted, and caused damage to two other cars parked nearby.

    The prison director had been attacked by and beaten by individuals wearing hoods about a year ago.

    In a second incident, a strong explosion occurred just before dawn Friday at the entrance to an apartment building's garage in Halandri, causing only material damage.

    Police cordoned off the surrounding streets, while bomb disposal experts were collecting remnants of the explosive device.

    Police are investigating both bomb explosions.

    [28] Drug dealing family business dismantled on Rhodes

    A mother and son aged 63 and 42 were arrested on Friday on Rhodes island for drug dealing. The mastermind of the "family business" is alleged to be a 40-year-old Trikala prison inmate, who is the family's second son.

    A search of their residence turned up packages containing 741 grams of heroin, bank documents and 53,000 in time deposits as well as three mobile phones.

    [29] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The agreement on the formation of a new government headed by Lucas Papademos as prime minister, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Habebus Papademos!".

    AVRIANI: "Greece got rid of Papandreou's gang which destroyed everything and purposely led us to bankruptcy".

    DEALnews: "Lucas Papademos: The bankers hope".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Lucas Papademos' tough agenda".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The three musketeers of the memorandum".

    ESTIA: "Mr. Papademos gives rise to hope".

    ETHNOS: "New era - Lucas Papademos' wager".

    IMERISSIA: "Hope returns- Papademos' message of national confidence and optimism".

    KATHIMERINI: "The turning of the page raises hopes".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Prime minister-designate sends message of optimism and calls for unity".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "PAME (Labour organisation affiliated to Communist Party of Greece) rallies, the first dynamic response to the new government ".

    TA NEA: "Papademos government a national wager".

    VRADYNI: "The 'austerity' Gospel According To Lucas".

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